The City of Coronado has issued a request for proposals for the Third and Fourth Streets Study. The proposals must “define combinations of traffic calming and mobility enhancing strategies” for the Third and Fourth streets corridor from the bridge toll to Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI). The deadline for proposals is February 28, 2014. The Third and Fourth Streets Planning Community (TAF) believes this is an opportunity for Coronado residents to help define our neighborhood’s future by attending the TAF upcoming meeting and GET TO KNOW US EVENT, to learn the issues and process, and provide your input.
In a recent article published by eCoronado and the Residential Reporter, TAF proposed rebranding the Third and Fourth streets corridor as an Avenue of Heroes: a monument to honor the United States military. Before the Avenue of Heroes proposal, traffic calming and alternate route proposals had been offered, but no theme had been offered to unify the various project elements.
TAF has received positive feedback from residents who favor the Avenue of Heroes theme. It has also heard concerns over the lack of leadership regarding Third and Fourth streets loop improvements and allegations that funds available to Third and Fourth streets management were diverted to other projects. In order to make this project a success, TAF is proposing a long-term beautification plan that will attract positive attention and funding to Third and Fourth streets. The long-term project should also integrate TAF's description of Third and Fourth streets as containing four unique neighborhoods, or quadrants. These individual quadrant descriptions are intended to facilitate discussion and problem-solving by highlighting the fact that Third and Fourth streets contain four distinct segments with their own particular traffic patterns and concerns. Those concerns can and should be identified and appropriate solutions integrated into the Avenue of Heroes theme.
As the project moves forward, Coronado residents, particularly those living along Third and Fourth streets, should familiarize themselves with the language and concepts related the study's focus: Traffic Calming and Mobility Enhancement. TAF recommends the consultant, city staff and Council, and affected residents also factor Accessibility Enhancement into the upcoming study. Implementation of Traffic Calming strategies, as opposed to Mobility or Accessibility Enhancement strategies, result in very different outcomes. Furthermore, TAF contends that two components have consistently been missing from proposals for improving Third and Fourth streets... a unifying beautification theme and accessibility.
The first concept, Traffic Calming, refers to specific measures intended to reduce the impact of motorized vehicle traffic in urban areas. Strategies include diverters, such as cul de sacs, or semi-diverters, such as partial street closings. Speed bumps previously implemented on Glorietta and Pomona, for example, have calmed and slowed traffic. Curb extensions, or bulb-outs, like those at Third and F, narrow the roadway and may slow traffic. They also increase pedestrian visibility and reduce their exposure to traffic by shortening the crossing. Other traffic calming measures are chicanes (features that create extra turns in a road) and random medians that force drivers to shift direction. Textured cobblestone and raised brick sidewalks redirect driver attention to the road. Traffic enforcement officers can also calm traffic.
The second concept, Mobility Enhancement, uses techniques that allow people to move around with ease. It focuses on the big picture, the birds-eye perspective on traffic. It is the efficient movement of people and goods and puts a higher priority on collective modes of transport. Having well designed roads, bike paths, bus routes, rail and ferry service are aspects of mobility enhancement. Where we fall especially short in terms of mobility is in access to local services and shopping. For instance, while we do have bus service in Coronado, it is too expensive and complicated for the short trips made back and forth for services and shopping. Transportation for residents to key locations off the island, such as Balboa Park and the Airport are also lacking.
The third and often overlooked concept, Accessibility Enhancement, is concerned with how people access the various forms of transportation. A senior citizen using a walker needs to be able to get onto the bus. Bicyclists need places to park and lock their bicycles in order to shop at local markets. A mother with children needs a place for the family to sit and wait for the bus comfortably, rain or shine. Accessibility Enhancement focuses on the traveler rather than the system. It is about determining whether people have access to the activities that they need or want to participate in. In Coronado, for example, residents increase traffic on the island by taking frequent short drives to the market, library, beach, or city hall, because the residents do not have accessible public transportation to these locations.
Coronado will have to confront the traffic challenges with a variety of strategies: TAF proposes a unifying theme for an historic Third and Fourth streets corridor, beautification, speed and sound mitigation through traffic calming measures, mobility enhancements that encourage alternative forms of transportation, and accessibility to those forms of transportation. While the traffic consultant and city engineering staff will be examining all of these issues, TAF encourages residents to explore their own specific areas to evaluate the feasibility of traffic calming solutions, mobility improvements, and accessibility for all neighborhood residents.
TAF also encourages Coronado residents to attend the next neighborhood meeting on MARCH 1, 2014, to discuss creative solutions for improving the safety and quality of life along the Third and Fourth Streets corridor and to help develop a plan to present to city officials.
TAF: Third and Fourth Streets Planning Community Facebook page
Next Meeting: MARCH 1, 2014, SATURDAY AFTERNOON at 3:00,
GET TO KNOW TAF: Triangle Park Event (Palm and Fourth) Saturday, February 22. 11 to 2.
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